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Grand Slam hero Fiona top of the class on return to school

GRAND Slam Sunday. Bank Holiday Monday. Back-to-school Tuesday.

There was no rest for Irish women's rugby captain Fiona Coghlan, who was straight back to the classroom yesterday.

But it wasn't exactly a normal day at the office as the teacher arrived into work with Six Nations trophy.

Ms Coghlan (32), as she is known to her students, teaches PE and maths at Lucan Community School.

The students lined the corridors clapping and cheering, and giving a big welcome back to their teacher and the trophy.


"It's good to come back in and celebrate with people," she said.

It's been a busy few days for Fiona and the team since their victory in Milan on Sunday.

They touched down at Dublin Airport on Monday, when hundreds turned out to welcome them home.

They beat all their opponents in the Six Nations championship, finishing with a tough clash in freezing conditions in Milan over the weekend.

The 6-3 victory over Italy was particularly difficult, with driving rain and freezing cold conditions.

Fiona said the ground was so hard, "the ball was bouncing like a basketball."

However, the amateur women's team was fitter and stronger this year.

Fiona said that it was fantastic to see so many turn up at the airport to welcome them home, including people with no involvement in rugby who simply wanted to pass on their congratulations.

Her nephew Charlie (8), who plays for the under-10s for Clontarf, was also on hand to give her a welcome back.

Fiona said her teaching colleagues have been very supportive of the women's rugby team.

"Two of the teachers came over to Milan for the match," she said.

And a bus-load of teachers travelled to Ashbourne to see the women team enjoy a historic victory over France.

The team's triumph could boost the numbers of young women getting involved in rugby. "It's important for girls to see it is normal to be involved in sports," Fiona said.

She coaches both boys and girls rugby at the Lucan school.

Fiona said she'd be back playing for her club this weekend.